Sebastian Herold

June 21, 2021

The Citizen App is building a paranoid, profitable future.

And to be honest, I have a very bad feeling about this.

There is a new kind of social platform gaining momentum and it sneaked under my radar. See, I'm just a bloke from good old Europe that publishes ideas and half-baked thoughts about how to not totally fuck up this great social experiment called civilization, so that shouldn't really surprise anyone. Most of the time I have very sensitive filters for every new kid on the social media block because whatever cultural, digital, and societal shift happens in the US, it's probably a good indicator of what is going to happen over here with a slight delay.

Think about every negative social aspect that Alex Jones, Breitbart, Fox News and right-wing propelled hate speech has brought to the world, multiply it with 1 million and you get a slight idea of what a society could look like if these new fear-based networks are getting real traction. Maybe you already guessed it.

Yep. We are screwed.

Citizen is a crime-reporting app that is growing a user base of freaked-out customers. It wants to scale to a „vertically integrated, 24-hour news-and-reporting network for crime, which, by offering constant notifications, live media, and premium protection services, including in-person private security, (and) hopes to monetize the fears of an uncertain public.“ It's building a paranoid, profitable future. And the monetization part is what scares me the most.

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